General practice is open and has been throughout the pandemic. Appointment numbers have risen to 32.2 million in May 2021 and over half of all appointments were face to face.
We continue to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement and general practice to assess the impact of different types of appointment and to improve access for all patient groups. The Public Sector Equality Duty requires public authorities to have due regard to the impact of their policies on different protected characteristics, one of which is age. NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an independent evaluation to understand the impact for staff, patients and the wider health and care system of using digital tools in primary care to inform its long-term strategy.